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Magpie Murders: A Novel – by Anthony Horowitz

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of “Magpie Murders: A Novel” by Anthony Horowitz. In this fiendishly brilliant thriller, editor Susan Ryeland is tasked with unraveling a classic whodunit penned by the bestselling crime writer, Alan Conway. As she delves into the manuscript, Susan begins to suspect that there is another story hidden within the pages—one of jealousy, greed, ambition, and murder. With elements that pay homage to the greats of British crime fiction, “Magpie Murders” offers readers a deviously dark and suspenseful journey where they become the detective. Get ready to embark on a thrilling literary adventure that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Magpie Murders: A Novel - by Anthony Horowitz

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In Anthony Horowitz’s “Magpie Murders,” editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel. As she begins reading, she realizes that the story is more than just a traditional whodunit. The narrative follows Conway’s detective, Atticus Pünd, as he investigates a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. However, Susan soon discovers that there is a hidden story within the pages of the manuscript—one of real-life jealousy, greed, ambition, and murder. “Magpie Murders” masterfully combines vintage English crime fiction with a modern twist, making the reader an active participant in solving the mystery.

About the Author

Anthony Horowitz is an accomplished author known for his thrilling and suspenseful novels. He has written bestsellers such as “Moriarty” and “Trigger Mortis” and has a knack for weaving intricate plots and clever narratives. With influences from Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Horowitz has created a unique style that captivates readers and keeps them guessing until the very end.

Magpie Murders: A Novel - by Anthony Horowitz

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Plot Overview

Introduction of Susan Ryeland

The story begins with Susan Ryeland, an editor who is given the manuscript for Alan Conway’s latest novel. As a long-time collaborator with Conway, Susan is familiar with his writing style and his beloved detective, Atticus Pünd. However, she soon realizes that this novel is different from the rest.

Alan Conway’s Manuscript

As Susan delves into the manuscript, she becomes engrossed in the story of Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall. She recognizes the traditional formula that has made Conway’s novels so successful and eagerly continues reading.

Atticus Pünd’s Investigation at Pye Hall

Through the pages of Conway’s manuscript, we are introduced to a cast of intriguing suspects and a murder that needs to be solved. Atticus Pünd’s deductive skills are put to the test as he navigates the secrets and dark motives of the sleepy English village.

Susan’s Realization of a Hidden Story

As Susan continues reading, she begins to suspect that there is more to the manuscript than meets the eye. She believes that Conway has embedded a real-life story of jealousy, greed, ambition, and murder within the pages of his novel.

Themes of Jealousy, Greed, Ambition, and Murder

“Magpie Murders” delves deep into themes of human nature, exploring the darker side of human motivations. Jealousy, greed, and ambition drive the characters, leading to murder and mystery that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.

The Reader as the Detective

One of the unique aspects of “Magpie Murders” is that the reader becomes an active participant in the investigation. As they read through the manuscript, they are encouraged to analyze clues, question motives, and ultimately solve the mystery alongside Atticus Pünd.

Writing Style

Influence of Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers

Anthony Horowitz pays homage to classic British crime authors such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers in “Magpie Murders.” He incorporates their writing styles and iconic elements of their detective novels, creating a sense of nostalgia for fans of the genre.

Traditional Formula

Horowitz follows a traditional formula in “Magpie Murders,” with a murder, a detective, and a host of suspects. This familiar structure allows readers to feel a sense of comfort and familiarity, while also keeping them engaged in the unraveling mystery.

Clever and Suspenseful Narrative

Horowitz’s writing is known for its cleverness and suspense. He expertly builds tension, drops hints, and misdirects the reader, keeping them guessing until the very end. The narrative of “Magpie Murders” is meticulously crafted to keep readers on their toes and eager to solve the mystery.

Magpie Murders: A Novel - by Anthony Horowitz

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Character Analysis

Susan Ryeland

As the protagonist and narrator of “Magpie Murders,” Susan Ryeland is a relatable and determined character. Her curiosity and instincts drive her to uncover the hidden story within the manuscript, and her journey keeps readers invested in the outcome.

Alan Conway

Alan Conway is the enigmatic author of the manuscript that Susan is reading. Through his character, Horowitz explores the intertwining of fiction and reality. Conway’s troubled behavior adds depth to the story and keeps readers questioning his motives.

Atticus Pünd

Atticus Pünd is the detective within Conway’s manuscript and the beloved character of his novels. Pünd’s intellect, wit, and deductive skills make him an engaging and intriguing character. Readers are drawn to Pünd’s investigations and eagerly follow his every move.


Sleepy English Villages

“Magpie Murders” takes place in the quaint and idyllic English villages that are often associated with classic crime fiction. The setting contributes to the cozy and nostalgic atmosphere of the novel, while also hiding dark secrets and motivations.

Pye Hall

Pye Hall, a local manor house, serves as the central location for the murder investigation in Conway’s manuscript. The grandeur and history of Pye Hall add an element of intrigue to the story, as well as providing a captivating backdrop for the unfolding mystery.


Fiction – General

While “Magpie Murders” is primarily a crime fiction novel, it also falls under the broader genre of general fiction. Horowitz’s skillful storytelling and compelling characters make the novel accessible to a wider audience, regardless of their usual reading preferences.

Crime Fiction

At its core, “Magpie Murders” is a classic crime fiction novel. It follows the conventions of the genre, with a murder, detective, suspects, and clues. Fans of crime fiction will appreciate the homage that Horowitz pays to the greats of the genre, while also delivering a fresh and modern take on the whodunit.

Publication Details

Format: Quality Paperback, Unabridged-CD, Paperback

“Magpie Murders” is available in various formats, including quality paperback, unabridged-CD, and paperback. This allows readers to choose the format that best suits their reading preferences.

Publisher: Harper Perennial

Harper Perennial is the publisher of “Magpie Murders” and is known for its commitment to quality literature and engaging storytelling. They have a reputation for publishing noteworthy works, making “Magpie Murders” a strong addition to their catalogue.

Published: Mar 2018

“Magpie Murders” was published in March 2018, making it a relatively recent release. Its publication date ensures that readers can easily find the novel in bookstores and libraries, adding to its accessibility.

Retail Price: $18.00

The retail price of “Magpie Murders” is $18.00, which falls within the average range for quality fiction novels. The affordable price makes the book an enticing option for readers looking for a compelling and engaging read.

Pages: 496

With 496 pages, “Magpie Murders” offers a substantial reading experience. The length of the novel allows for detailed character development and an intricate plot that keeps readers engrossed from beginning to end.

Critical Reception

“Magpie Murders” received critical acclaim upon its release, with many praising Anthony Horowitz’s ability to seamlessly blend classic crime fiction with a modern twist. The clever narrative, well-developed characters, and suspenseful plot captivated readers and kept them guessing until the final pages. The novel’s homage to iconic crime authors such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers also garnered positive reviews, as it paid tribute to the beloved elements of the genre while adding a fresh and original approach.

Similar Works by Anthony Horowitz

Readers who enjoyed “Magpie Murders” may also be interested in exploring other works by Anthony Horowitz. His novels “Moriarty” and “Trigger Mortis” have similarly received critical acclaim, showcasing Horowitz’s talent for crafting compelling narratives and intricate mysteries. These works provide further opportunities for readers to immerse themselves in Horowitz’s unique blend of suspense, cleverness, and homage to classic crime fiction.